How Do I Know if I Am a Candidate for Breast Augmentation?

Posted on June 08, 2022 in blog by Lewisburg Team

How do I know if I am a candidate for breast augmentation?
Hi, I’m Jordan Thomas. Our goal, as with everything we do here at Lewisburg Plastic Surgery, is to provide you with the educational resources you need to make the best decision, and allow you to feel Beautiful, Confident and Safe. Today, we will be discussing one of the most popular surgeries that we perform, breast augmentation, with Dr. Normington. 


Dr. Normington, who would make a good candidate for breast augmentation?
“Any woman who is hoping to look better in clothing, and bathing suits.  The ultimate goal of the procedure is to feel better about yourself. Many women are concerned about either the size or the shape of the breast. Any healthy woman who is concerned about how they look in clothing, I think, is a candidate for this procedure. “


How do you decide on the implant shape and size?
How do you and your patient decide on the implant’s shape, size, and the positioning? Is this different for each individual case, or is it kind of across the board?
“Every woman is different,” explains Dr. Normington.  “During the initial consultation, there is a brief exam, and based upon the exam, we would make specific recommendations regarding the size of the implant. We have a couple of ways to address this.  We have a computer that literally takes a picture of the woman, creates a 3D image, and then actually pretty accurately simulates the volume that a woman will gain with a specific size and shape breast implant. We can, at the initial consultation, at least give the woman an idea about what they might be getting into.  That kind of puts us into a ballpark about what potential size or shape implant that we will use. We also have something called a sizer. This is something that a woman can slip into a bra. It’s a device that is similar to a breast implant, but it simulates the volume that you’re going to gain with a specific breast implant size and will guide you along. Visually, a woman will be able to visually see how things might look with a specific breast implant. Using those modalities, we’re able to kind of settle on the size.”


What is the difference between saline and silicone implants?
Dr. Normington, how would a patient decide on whether to choose a silicone or saline implant? Is it based again individually or on the appearance and their goal?

“I think it’s definitely an individual choice. At the initial consultation, we’re able to show you both implants. The options are either an implant that’s filled with a saltwater solution, called a saline implant, or an implant that’s filled with a silicone gelatin, and that’s commonly called a silicone or a gel implant. These are the two options regarding what’s in the implant itself. You can hold them in your hand.  There is a difference in how different types of implants feel. The silicone implant is a little firmer, and I think feels more natural, whereas the saline implant kind of has a rubbery, almost, unfortunately, water balloon feel to it. But a woman will be able to hold both and choose for themselves. There’s some pros and cons to each, however both implants are considered very safe. And really, probably the biggest difference between the implants long term is that if the saline implant leaks, the saltwater comes out, and is absorbed. It’s completely harmless. But it’s obvious, as the implant will lose its volume over the course of several days, and a woman will wake up one morning and the breast is basically flat. Whereas the silicone implant is a little different. We can show you pictures of them in there in the office. The silicone implant is not a liquid, it’s a gelatin. So, if a leak were to develop there, it’s safe, but may not be obvious, requiring tests like an ultrasound in order to sort out how the implants doing.”


Can an implant size be too large for my body?
Is there any harm for a patient choosing an implant size that might be considered too large for their body size?
“Well, some of that is its personal choice.  The bottom line, though, is that we’re putting an implant beneath the woman’s own breast, and the bigger the implant becomes then the less of your own breast covering is and hiding it. So, with bigger implants, we tend to see the implant more with smaller breasts. There may be enough of the woman’s own breast where we’re able to mask or hide that implant very nicely. So again, the big down fall with a bigger implant is that we’re seeing more of the implant itself. Some women like that, look, and they’re actually seeking out that look, where others don’t want to have that look.”


Where is the implant placed?
You mentioned you place it under the breast tissue? Is there ever a scenario that you might place it underneath the muscle as well.
“Typically, here at Lewisburg Plastic Surgery and Dermatology, we tend to put the implants below the muscle, and this is something that we would sort out during the examination. There are some cases where a woman would probably be best served by putting the implant on top of the muscle, but generally, we try to get that implant below the muscle. There are a number of reasons for that; I think the implant looks better when it’s below the muscle, because the muscle itself hides the implant. To a great extent, there’s also some health benefits to putting it below the muscle. Specifically, mammograms are a little easier later in life with the implant below the muscle. And the other big reason is that there’s less potential for a scar phenomenon, called capsular contracture, to occur. We can discuss that at the consultation, but that situation is significantly reduced by putting the implant below the muscle.”


What is capsular contracture?
What is the capsular contracture, then, that you talked about?

“Every woman who has an implant makes scar tissue in their body right on the implant itself. Now normally,” Dr. Normington explains. “That scar tissue is soft, paper thin, and you don’t even know that it’s there. But a small number of women make extra scar tissue, and that extra scar on the implant makes the implant itself feel firmer, so your breasts might feel firmer. It’s not a disease or a health problem. It’s simply just scar tissue forming but putting the implant below the muscle is very protective for that sort of situation. Nationwide studies have shown it has reduced the risk for that down into the 1% range, and we rarely see it in this practice.”

Where will the incisions be placed, and will there be scarring?
Regarding scarring, I’m sure patients are concerned about the appearance of any sort of scar from their surgery. How do you decide on where you make the incision during surgery to place the implant?
“There are several options of where the incision might go. We’re able to show you some pictures about where the potential incisions are, where they typically are. They’re all hidden around the breasts, like in the armpit or in the crease that sits below the breast, or even around the edge of the areola. In our practice, and nationwide, the most common place to put that incision is in the little crease sitting below the breast. That incision has been shown to have the least potential problems, and long term it really does tend to disappear in that crease, so it is not very visible.”


How long is recovery time?
For people that may be considering this procedure, what sort of recovery time would they be looking at after the procedure?

“They are back to normal activities pretty quickly, in a day or two. The biggest restriction is vigorous and strenuous activities like hitting the gym, and strenuous things around the house or the yard. Most people with a typical job are back to work in a week.”


Conclusion
If anyone has any questions regarding breast augmentation, you can always reach out to one of our staff members here. For more information on Lewisburg Plastic Surgery, please visit us online at Lewisburgplastic.com or find us on Facebook at Lewisburg Plastic Surgery and Dermatology or on Instagram at Lewisburg plastic. We’ll see you next time.

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